Sharp, James Ernest (Cleveland)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
James Sharp
James Sharp

James Ernest Sharp was born August 22, 1935, in Elk Valley, Campbell County, Tn.

His parents were Isham and Nola Meadors Sharp, and grandparents were John and Martha Lay Sharp, Berry and Helen Lawson Meadors. Wife Alma Sue Redmond Sharp. He has one daughter Judy Lee Williams (Dick), step grandson Andy Wiliams, of Brentwood TN. One son James Michael Sharp, Circuit Court Judge, (Melanie), Cleveland TN., two grandchildren Sarah Anne Wangaard (Elias), Hoover, AL., James Matthew Sharp (Laura), Cleveland TN., four great grandchildren Leah Caroline Wangaard, Avery Kate Wangaard, James Miles Sharp and Grayson Lee Sharp.
He had seven brothers and sisters that preceded in death, Nancy Lull, Alma Watkins, J. Will Sharp (Bill), Bertha Jane Perkinson, Berta Ann Farmer, Robert L. Sharp, Isham M. (Mac/I.G.) Sharp.

Jim started running the farm at age fourteen. He had perfect attendance all twelve years of elementary and high school. He got married at age seventeen, March 11, 1953, to Alma Sue Redmond Sharp. He was teaching school at age 20 and became principal at age 25. Attended Memphis State College on a football scholarship from 1953-1954. Then in the summer of 1954 went to Cumberland College, Williamsburg, KY. He attended Eastern Kentucky College 1954-1955, returned to Cumberland College in the summers of 1954 and 1955. Attended Union College in Barboursville, KY., on Saturdays in 1956, received his BS Degree later from this college. After just two years of college he taught elementary school at White Ok, TN., from 1955-1956. He continued teaching in 1956-57 in Franklin, OH. at Franklin Junior High School. He left Franklin and returned home to Newcomb and for the next three years taught school back at White Oak, TN. In 1960 at the age of 25, he became the principal at Newcomb, TN., Elementary School. During those four years received his BS degree from Union College in Barboursville KY. During his tenure as principal in Newcomb TN, Jim got accepted into the Masters program at the University Of Tennessee In Knoxville. There he received his MS Degree. Jim decided, after serving four years as Newcomb’s Elementary principle, to go to Jellico High School and teach math. At the end of three years teaching math at Jellico High School he was ask to be Administer of Project Headstart for Campbell County Tennessee.

At the end of the summer the Superintendent of Schools, Edward C. Murray asked Jim to be the Director of Federal Programs for the Campbell County School System. His advisor at UT, Doctor Michael Nunnery ask him to apply for principal at Clinton High School. They selected two people but he was turned down and didn’t get the position. Two weeks later he received the principle-ship position at Cleveland High School in Cleveland TN. Three weeks later he, his wife and two children moved to Cleveland. He served as principal of Cleveland High School for two years. He then accepted the position as Educational Co-op Director. This involved working with fourteen school systems that extended from Monroe County to Grundy County.

In 1976, at age 40, he decided to become a land developer. From age 40 to age 75 he developed twenty four subdivisions in Cleveland and Bradley County. One subdivision called Wheatland Hills in Athens, TN. From age 75 to present he developed a total of over 4,000 acres and 1,000 residences. The residential subdivisions created under the Sharp Developments name are known for high quality, uniqueness, and aesthetically pleasing characteristics. The name Sharp Developments has become synonymous with quality in development and service. This degree of recognition can be attributed to the dedication, experience, talent and personality of Jim Sharp.

Jim Sharp is known for his State and Community involvement:
1. Served in the development of Cleveland/Bradley County Industrial Park.
2. Served on the Cleveland/Bradley County Economic Development Council.
3. Chairman of the Cleveland/Bradley County Economic Development Council, 1984-1987
4. Served as Finance Chairman in 30 counties for Governor Winfield Dunn.
5. Served as finance chairman for Governor Don Sunquist in Bradley County, 1994 and 1998.
6. Closing Church Street in 1988 for Lee College. Returned 10 years later to the planning and development of a landscape design for the East/West Mall including a front fountain.
7. Served on the committee for building Cleveland’s new museum.
8. Served on the committee for relocating the Chamber of Commerce facility.
9. Served on the committee to purchase land and build a youth facility for the Westmore Church of God, called One Eighty.
10. Served on the committee to purchase the Rolling Hills Golf Course for the Westmore Church of God. Oversaw the pouring of the concrete slab where now sets their new youth facility.
11. Served on the First Baptist Church Property Committee.
12. Oversaw the re-landscaping and removal of a large quantities of dirt at First Baptist Church.
13. Served on the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority Committee.
Boards that Mr. Sharp served on:
1. Cleveland Tree Board
2. Cleveland Tax Equalization Board, 40 of service as of 2017.
3. First National Bank Board
4. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
5. Tennessee Department of Economic Growth and Community Development. Appointed by Governor Don Sunquist.

Accomplishments:
1. Recipient of the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award
2. Chamber of Commerce Cleveland President
3. Hall of Christian Excellence, presented at the Sixty Second General Assembly of the Church of God.
4. 2007 recipient of the Presidential Celebration Award from Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.
5. Deacon, First Baptist Church
6. Better Business Bureau 2009 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics Serving Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. 

A Remembrance of Life Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Cleveland, with Pastor Allan Lockerman, Pastor Jim Gibson and Pastor Jeff Lovingood officiating. The interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens with Dewayne Bunch, Travis Henry, Mike Bell, Kent Berry, Randy McCoy, Ben Kirkland, Bob Lee, James Harris and Jim Gatlin serving as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers will be the members of the Friendly Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 11 a.m. until service time at 2 p.m. at the church.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Jim’s memory to First Baptist Church Building fund or the church’s library, 1275 Stuart Rd. NW. Cleveland Tn. 37312.

Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services North Ocoee St. Chapel has charge of the arrangements. 



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